Dana Holgorsen on offensive innovation: “Those things typically happen at Happy Hour”
Dana Holgorsen has certainly lived up to his mad scientist reputation this season, pushing West Virginia to sixth nationally in both passing and total offense this season as the Mountaineers are off to a 5-2 start after busting then-No. 4 Baylor for 456 yards and 33 first downs in a 41-27 upset victory.
Holgo joined NFL.com’s College Football 24/7 Podcast this week and was asked where he got his inspiration for some of his wackier ideas.
“Those things typically happen at Happy Hour or at retreats,” Holgorsen said. “That’s the honest truth, too. We had a staff retreat at Oklahoma State, we went to somebody’s little cabin out there in the country and me and Joe Wickline were sitting there talking ball, there’s nothing else to do at these retreats, so we were talking ball and I kind of threw it out there to him, the whole diamond thing, and Joe’s one of the most innovative offensive line creators in college football to this day, he’s since moved on to the University of Texas. We thought about it and we were like, ‘Hey, that’s a pretty good idea.’ So we started dabbling with it in August it was a huge part of why Justin Blackmon caught like 26 touchdown passes that year.”
Many of Holgorsen’s craziest ideas ended up on the cutting room floor, though.
“I’ve had more bad ideas than I’ve had good ideas, I can assure you of that. Usually sometimes I’ll bring something up at staff meetings or retreats or like I said these Happy Hours or just talking ball at conventions and people will look at me like, ‘You’ve just absolutely lost your mind.’ Who knows? If we’d had tried some of those things it might’ve worked out.”
As Holgorsen advances, though, he reins himself in closer to the center of offensive convention. The Mountaineers ran the ball 50 times and threw it 35 times in the Baylor win.
“It forces them to play run in the box more than anything,” he said. “If they don’t get those safeties involved then those four of five yard chunks are going to be 10 or 15 yard chunks. We’ve got a solid offensive line, probably two of the better guards in the country. We’re able to run the ball behind them. If they don’t commit to stoping it then we’re just going to keep running it.”
For the year, West Virginia has run the ball 317 times compared to 295 passes. That 2011 Oklahoma State team Holgorsen referenced earlier called 595 passes compared to 392 runs. Leach’s current Washington State team, by the way, has called an astounding 440 passes against 133 rusn.
“My days of the old Air Raid offense with Hal Mumme, Mike Leach, I don’t know if they would claim me anymore because I’m calling so many run plays, but we’re still throwing for a whole bunch of yards so we’ve found a different ways of doing things.”
To listen to the full thing, click here. Holgo jumps on at about the 26-minute mark, and Mark Helfrich hops on after that.
This is the type of hype video you’d expect from the #1 team in the country
This is exactly the type of highlight video you’d expect from the #1 team in the country. Nice work Mississippi State.
Midway through the season, it’s tough to argue that there’s a better team out there playing better football than Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs.
But, as Mullen tells his guys in their #HailState highlight for their game against Kentucky on Saturday, “they don’t give out trophies for midterm grades.” So true.
Enjoy this one, it’s really well done.
Sumlin’s message to the Aggies after 3rd straight loss: “Your true character is about to be revealed”
In a few short years in College Station, Kevin Sumlin has seen his fair share of ups and downs, but Saturday’s tilt with Nick Saban and Alabama will be remembered as one of the lower points thus far.
During his coaching career at both Houston and Texas A&M, Sumlin had never suffered a shutout up until Saturday’s 59-0 debacle. in Tuscaloosa.
“For something like that to happen, that is that major, it has got to be across the board and we weren’t very good at anything.” Sumlin explained.
Getting back on track after three straight losses (Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama) is also relatively new to to Sumlin, who talked about getting his guys refocused in their latest episode of The Pulse.
Sumlin told the Aggies after the loss that there was going to be a lot of negative talk in the media surrounding them, and that only the only communication that was really important was the stuff coming from within the program.
“In situations like this, the message was that your true character is being revealed, and will continue to be revealed. When you’re winning and everyone is patting you on the back, things are easy.”
“But when something like this happens, and you’ve lost three in a row, you’ve got to be honest with yourself, number one. And number two, we’ve got to help each other pull ourselves out of this, and you can’t do that unless you stick together.”
“Everyone out there is going to have an opinion of what should be done, or what can be done, but they aren’t the ones playing and coaching in the games. So for us to get back to where we need to be we need to talk to each other, and trust each other.”
Video: Chad Morris explains his coaching philosophy – “You’ve got to make it fun”
Over the past few seasons, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has been a staple among the hottest names/coordinators in college football ready to make the transition to lead a program.
Here, in this video from Clemson, you get the opportunity to learn about Chad Morris the coach, his philosophy of coaching, as well as Chad Morris the person off of the field.
His approach to coaching centers around one theme: make it fun for your players.
“I believe, and will continue to believe as long as I coach, that these kids, these players that we have, play football at a young age for one reason, and one reason only; because it was fun. They were having fun.”
“And a coach can take the fun out of the game faster than anybody. Do we have to get work in? Absolutely. Do we have to show some tough love at times? Absolutely. But in the end, it’s got to be fun. You’ve got to show it. You’ve got to demonstrate it. You’ve got to model it, and you’ve got to demand it.”
Video of the Day – Kentucky asks BBN to pack Commonwealth Stadium
Thursday October 23, 2014
Video of the Day
Kentucky asks BBN to pack Commonwealth Stadium for Mississippi State